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What CEOs Can Learn From “Dumb Ways to Die”

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What CEOs Can Learn From “Dumb Ways to Die”

From executing strategic vision to communicating high performance standards to being ultimately responsible for all day-to-day management decisions and for implementing the company’s long and short term plans, a CEO has his work cut out for him. With great power comes great responsibility, so when the company is in the red and heads have to roll, the members of the board almost always look at the CEO first. Then again, there are times when everything just seems to click, such as when a campaign’s results exceed expectations. Or when an ad goes so insanely viral you can’t measure it’s effect. More often than not, the CEO gets the applause even when he may not be the top creative mind and all he did was approve the budget. The point is, when things go well, nothing beats the feeling of being there at the top staring down at the mortals.  

Let’s take a look at the “Dumb Ways to Die” campaign by Metro Trains in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, the most awarded and talked about campaign in recent years, and what other CEOs can learn from this campaign.

“Dumb Ways to Die” was a model of success on so many levels that it should be in advertising textbooks already.

The fact that it’s not for profit – it’s simply a public service announcement campaign by Metro Trains to promote rail safety – just makes it all the more remarkable. When the guys at McCann Melbourne, the ad agency that handled the campaign, got the memo, all they wanted was to engage an audience that really doesn’t want to hear any kind of safety message, specifically the young commuters. The result left the client awestruck as much as it did the ad agency.  

What did they do right?

If you ask McCann Melbourne, they didn’t really adopt an advertising model. Instead, they focused on content. Still, I have reason to believe the ad had the workings of a conventional advertising model that just happened to have superior content across the board. And don’t forget an engaged audience. Here’s how a traditional ad works:

  • Attention. The ad must be compelling enough to grab the target market’s attention.

Dumb Ways to Die

The first step for McCann Melbourne and Metro Trains was to produce and record a music video called “Dumb Ways to Die, which was the main shareable piece of content. It featured a cute song (easy to sing along with, nice rhyme and meter, simple rhythm) with funny cartoon characters dying in ridiculous ways. It ended with a reference to the main point: railway safety. “Dumb Ways to Die” really started from a truly engaging and a well thought-through piece of content.

 

  • Interest. Of course, it must be interesting.

dumb ways to die marketing

The way  McCann framed the content made the audience want to keep singing and finding out other ridiculous ways to die – not that they’re looking for ideas but because you didn’t want the song and the animation to end. For the record, there were more than 20 “dumb ways to die” in the song including “using drugs beyond their expiration date, using body parts as piranha bait, keeping a rattlesnake as a pet, and sell both kidneys on the net.”

 

  • Desire. The product must be beneficial enough to the target market that they would actually buy it.

dumb ways to die marketing

In this case, Metro Trains wasn’t selling anything. Still, they didn’t scrimp on the benefits of the message. They made sure the message was: if you listen to this ad, you will live. McCann Melbourne’s goal was to create a content good enough that people would actually part with their money to have it. When the song came out and it was released in iTunes, people actually bought it. In less than two months, it generated estimated sales of $60 million.

Related: Captain America: Civil War & Marketing Competition are Similar than You Thought

 

  • Action. There has to be a clear and convincing call to action.

dumb ways to die marketing

Of course. The main message was, “Do not do dumb things around trains”. Do not get killed by a train. Do not stand on the edge of a train platform. Do not run across the rails/tracks. There are so many dumb ways to die, but the dumbest of them all is if you are killed by a train. Why? Trains travel in a (mostly) straight line and you know when it’s coming and if you still get killed by a train, you are really dumb.  

Aside from these four basic principles, there are other takeaways from the campaign that CEOs can learn from.

Related: Why BREXIT Could Hurt the US Economy

 

  • Make people “own” the material

McCann did this by just letting the content out, and when it had a huge following, they just allowed the public people to make their own versions and spoofs of the original material. While the music video was already viral, the effect of the public “owning” it was exponential. Soon, they had to release a smartphone game, a children’s book, and launch a dedicated website.

www.dumbwaystodie.com

www.dumbwaystodie.com

 

  • Think “Glocal”

dumb ways to die marketing

It was only supposed to be for Melbourne only, but considering the small population, the agency thought it wouldn’t be successful, or if it would, it wouldn’t be soon enough. So what they did in the video was, they featured animals that don’t live in Australia – Grizzly bear, piranha, moose. They thought if the ad was to be successful in locally, it had to be popular in other English-speaking markets first. Even the tone of the voice of the local singer was carefully chosen to have the right vibe.

In the end, the campaign was a success because it had the right mix of great content, an engaged audience, and a sprinkling of good timing. And of course, nobody really wanted to die in the dumbest way possible.

 

 

Love this article?  Share it on twitter or write your thoughts below.

 

What have you missed:  SOCIAL INFLUENCERS: The Powers-That-Be

 

Read more interesting stories at The Savvy Marketer’s Blog!

 

 

 

What CEOs Can Learn From “Dumb Ways to Die”

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What CEOs Can Learn From “Dumb Ways to Die”

From executing strategic vision to communicating high performance standards to being ultimately responsible for all day-to-day management decisions and for implementing the company’s long and short term plans, a CEO has his work cut out for him. With great power comes great responsibility, so when the company is in the red and heads have to roll, the members of the board almost always look at the CEO first. Then again, there are times when everything just seems to click, such as when a campaign’s results exceed expectations. Or when an ad goes so insanely viral you can’t measure it’s effect. More often than not, the CEO gets the applause even when he may not be the top creative mind and all he did was approve the budget. The point is, when things go well, nothing beats the feeling of being there at the top staring down at the mortals.  

Let’s take a look at the “Dumb Ways to Die” campaign by Metro Trains in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, the most awarded and talked about campaign in recent years, and what other CEOs can learn from this campaign.

“Dumb Ways to Die” was a model of success on so many levels that it should be in advertising textbooks already.

The fact that it’s not for profit – it’s simply a public service announcement campaign by Metro Trains to promote rail safety – just makes it all the more remarkable. When the guys at McCann Melbourne, the ad agency that handled the campaign, got the memo, all they wanted was to engage an audience that really doesn’t want to hear any kind of safety message, specifically the young commuters. The result left the client awestruck as much as it did the ad agency.  

What did they do right?

If you ask McCann Melbourne, they didn’t really adopt an advertising model. Instead, they focused on content. Still, I have reason to believe the ad had the workings of a conventional advertising model that just happened to have superior content across the board. And don’t forget an engaged audience. Here’s how a traditional ad works:

  • Attention. The ad must be compelling enough to grab the target market’s attention.

Dumb Ways to Die

The first step for McCann Melbourne and Metro Trains was to produce and record a music video called “Dumb Ways to Die, which was the main shareable piece of content. It featured a cute song (easy to sing along with, nice rhyme and meter, simple rhythm) with funny cartoon characters dying in ridiculous ways. It ended with a reference to the main point: railway safety. “Dumb Ways to Die” really started from a truly engaging and a well thought-through piece of content.

 

  • Interest. Of course, it must be interesting.

dumb ways to die marketing

The way  McCann framed the content made the audience want to keep singing and finding out other ridiculous ways to die – not that they’re looking for ideas but because you didn’t want the song and the animation to end. For the record, there were more than 20 “dumb ways to die” in the song including “using drugs beyond their expiration date, using body parts as piranha bait, keeping a rattlesnake as a pet, and sell both kidneys on the net.”

 

  • Desire. The product must be beneficial enough to the target market that they would actually buy it.

dumb ways to die marketing

In this case, Metro Trains wasn’t selling anything. Still, they didn’t scrimp on the benefits of the message. They made sure the message was: if you listen to this ad, you will live. McCann Melbourne’s goal was to create a content good enough that people would actually part with their money to have it. When the song came out and it was released in iTunes, people actually bought it. In less than two months, it generated estimated sales of $60 million.

Related: Captain America: Civil War & Marketing Competition are Similar than You Thought

 

  • Action. There has to be a clear and convincing call to action.

dumb ways to die marketing

Of course. The main message was, “Do not do dumb things around trains”. Do not get killed by a train. Do not stand on the edge of a train platform. Do not run across the rails/tracks. There are so many dumb ways to die, but the dumbest of them all is if you are killed by a train. Why? Trains travel in a (mostly) straight line and you know when it’s coming and if you still get killed by a train, you are really dumb.  

Aside from these four basic principles, there are other takeaways from the campaign that CEOs can learn from.

Related: Why BREXIT Could Hurt the US Economy

 

  • Make people “own” the material

McCann did this by just letting the content out, and when it had a huge following, they just allowed the public people to make their own versions and spoofs of the original material. While the music video was already viral, the effect of the public “owning” it was exponential. Soon, they had to release a smartphone game, a children’s book, and launch a dedicated website.

www.dumbwaystodie.com

www.dumbwaystodie.com

 

  • Think “Glocal”

dumb ways to die marketing

It was only supposed to be for Melbourne only, but considering the small population, the agency thought it wouldn’t be successful, or if it would, it wouldn’t be soon enough. So what they did in the video was, they featured animals that don’t live in Australia – Grizzly bear, piranha, moose. They thought if the ad was to be successful in locally, it had to be popular in other English-speaking markets first. Even the tone of the voice of the local singer was carefully chosen to have the right vibe.

In the end, the campaign was a success because it had the right mix of great content, an engaged audience, and a sprinkling of good timing. And of course, nobody really wanted to die in the dumbest way possible.

 

 

Love this article?  Share it on twitter or write your thoughts below.

 

What have you missed:  SOCIAL INFLUENCERS: The Powers-That-Be

 

Read more interesting stories at The Savvy Marketer’s Blog!

 

 

 

B2B Commercial Cleaning: How to Make your Old Brand Lemony-Fresh

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B2B Commercial Cleaning: How to Make your Old Brand Lemony-Fresh

For a lot of B2B commercial cleaning enterprises, building a rock solid brand can be very demanding. Since the kind of image you want to assume determines your next cleaning contract, you will need to take extra care in creating messages that sum up the value of your services.

Christopher Ryan for Future Marketing Partners suggests giving your brand a fresh face by undertaking these key steps.

Step 1: Take a brutally honest assessment of your current state.

Why exactly are you thinking of upgrading your brand and what do you hope to accomplish? Are you doing it for less than stellar reasons: e.g. you are personally tired of your brand, or can you show how the company will benefit economically from the time-consuming and expensive rebranding exercise?

Decide where you want to be in five years.

This is an important question because the best brands have a timeless quality. What sounds good today may not work well in five years, so encapsulate a future perspective on what customers will buy today as well as into the future.

Step 2: Validate the congruence and market readiness for the new brand position.

This is a step where you may benefit from outside help. Make sure what you are proposing resonates with both the target audience and online searchers. Yes, you want to validate your new brand with the Google search algorithm.

Bonus tip: Enhance your Brand in Google Plus

Step 3: Strategic Messaging platform

Create a strategic messaging platform that consists of a brand promise, value proposition, About the Company statement, and key messaging statements. Make sure this messaging shows you as being unique, remarkable, and most important, extremely beneficial.

Bonus tip: How to attract Millenial in Investing

Step 4: Gain agreement from all stakeholders.

Let everyone, especially your existing customers, know exactly why you are updating the brand and what it will mean to them.

Bonus tip: Elaborate A Successful Customer Service Strategy

Step 5: New Brand Position

Launch the new brand position with a new website, new content, new look and feel, and new panache.

Bonus tip: Generate Leads with Google Plus

Step 6: Be relentless and persistent in promoting your B2B brand.

And if you have changed the company or product name — other than the fact you want to redirect anyone looking for the old brand name to the new content — it is best to banish the old naming and messaging from your vocabulary. Don’t have one foot on the old brand and the other on the new.

Bonus tip: 4 Effective Ways to Make your Brand Standout

Step 7: Live the brand position.

Your brand is about much more than what you say in your promotional messaging. Whatever you are telling the world that you are, make sure it is congruent with how you operate in every part of your company.

Bonus tip: Add some Sauce to your Storytelling

Commercial Cleaning

The Greatest Marketing Strategy Question: Inbound or Outbound?

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Inbound Outbound Marketing

Marketing strategies are interesting. The fact that drafting an approach is a volatile task allows for a variety of options that B2B telemarketing companies could follow. There is simply no linear formula to follow as there are two vital forms of marketing which you can pursue, inbound and outbound.

For a campaign to earn its success, it is important for a business decision-maker to know which method would prove the best. Would you use the inbound techniques in SEO and social media, or would you put more focus on the outbound methods of traditional advertising, direct mail and phone calls?

The following considerations will guide you in creating a successful marketing plan:

Cost Efficiency. Gauging the success of a campaign should also be reflected in the ROI. And profitability is too dear to lose. Nowadays, companies are making great strides by engaging communities through blogging and social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn for lesser costs compared to using traditional media. And once you have established an online presence, customers may contact you for more information on your offers.

Content Engagement. Once you get your message to your audience, there is no telling how well the message is absorbed. Both inbound and outbound marketing suffer such uncertainties, rendering ROI forecasts difficult if not ambiguous. With this in mind, you would have to churn out quality content. Whether designing an engaging blog or starting a direct mail campaign, one must not neglect that content is relative to sales volume.

Market Diversity. The challenges faced by B2B and B2C marketing lies in the diversity of business prospects. The reality is that there are as many kinds of consumers as there are marketing strategies. And it does a great service to know your targets well. In this respect, businesses must attend to pertinent data on their target demographic. It is easy to assume that tech-savvy individuals who spend a large slice of their daily time blogging and accessing their social media accounts can be easy pickings for quality online content. But then again, one should also consider people who are less exposed to inbound messages. For this, PR activities and trade shows can be employed to reach out to a wider audience.

We can see that inbound and outbound marketing seem to oppose each other. But in many cases, they go hand in hand. Businesses must make use of the advantages of both methods in order to expand their reach.

For example, a business may send direct mails containing links to the enterprise’s blogsite and social media pages. Freebies and discounts can be offered once the recipient agrees to subscribe to a regular newsletter or supply contact information for potential offerings.

Integrating the two will prove to be indispensable in translating marketing leads into actual sales.

Fact of B2B Marketing Life: Conversations Matter

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Fact of B2B Life-Conversations Matter

When trying to sell a product, content marketing strategies are highly important.

Whether selling VOIP or office supplies, marketers are always faced with the challenge of creating quality content to attract prospects. This heralds the use of compelling and convincing stories.

Nothing bad there; only that too many B2B marketing strategies are highly dependent on compelling content than actually knowing their prospects well. It is an unhealthy fetish that could not help conversion rates increase.

What marketers really need is to initiate healthy dialogue with their prospects, which guarantee hefty conversions of sales leads.

And here’s how to do just that:

Don’t shove.

Aggressiveness drives content marketing. But does it really help attract potential leads? In reality, trying to convince your customers by stuffing their inboxes and answering machines can be annoying on their part, and costly on yours. Don’t try to scare them away with frequency. Instead, present them with issues that they may be experiencing, thus creating demand.

Know what they REALLY want.

Like Russian roulette is how most marketers view campaign strategies. It’s a matter of luck. You send an e-mail or make a phone call, hoping that all will be well. This is nothing less than a cynical attitude towards B2B lead generation. To change your perspective, a better analogy should be considered: Marketing is like 20 Questions. Businesses should always ask the right inquiries. The hotter you are to knowing customer issues, the closer you are to a done deal.

Stories don’t sell.

It has been a common misconception among marketers that their practice is simply to sell a product. Seasoned marketing rhetoric is the main weapon here, but its one-way structure lacks the ability to emphasize the real needs. Social media nowadays has given companies the opportunity to engage their markets directly, and you should be able to wield it as an inbound marketing campaign tool.

Be active and follow up.

Marketing is not a set and forget kind of endeavor. Always be cognizant of current trends in gauging market demands. Also, always keep in touch with existing customers. There is no telling if they have new problems in need of resolving, and you should always be ready to communicate with them and offer them something new.

With these pointers in mind, you will realize how much lending a curious ear means to you and your customers. Content may have attracted your prospects, but a real sense of market vigilance is needed to reel in the catch.

Source: http://annuitas.com/2014/05/13/why-marketers-should-stop-telling-stories/

Outbound and Inbound Marketing: Friends or Foes?

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As defined in Marketing-School,  Outbound marketing is the kind of approach in which marketers reach out and try to persuade prospects through different kinds of marketing channels (telemarketing, email, face-to-face meetings). It is also known as push marketing.

Meanwhile, Inbound marketing is the approach where marketers try to attract prospects into reading and sharing content, visiting websites, strategically posting sign-up forms and several other channels. This is also called the pull marketing.

Are you supposed to use both strategies or just one? Find out in this slide presentation.

[slideshare id=35245815&doc=doneoutboundandinboundmarketingfriendsorfoes-140528234055&w-phpapp01]

 

Movie Gems: The Wolf Of Wall Street and its precious Business Lessons

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Movie Gems - The Wolf Of Wall Street and its precious Business Lessons_DONE

Stockbrokers and business-to-business marketers aren’t really that different, if you take a look at it. Both sell something, whether it’s a unit of stock or a product or service, the goal is to talk to people and convince them to invest.

Martin Scorsese’s most recent masterpiece, The Wolf of Wall Street, tells the story of a real-life stockbroker named Jordan Belfort (played by Leonardo DiCaprio). From his early twenties, Belfort capitalized on his people skills, natural sales dexterity and passion for money to build his own business empire.

Although he accumulated his wealth through illegal means, one cannot deny that a thing or two can be learned from his “misadventures”:

Know how to tell a story

In the film, Belfort doesn’t just sell stocks to people; he targets their weaknesses and makes the most of them by painting a picture of possibilities. He works hard to know the ins and outs of a particular industry and uses this to send his message out to his future clients. Business marketers can emulate this by being observant of everything around them and channel this knowledge to project an effective marketing message whether physically or online.

Seek opportunities

Marketers should also be able to see an opportunity when it presents itself, even if that circumstance is not always favorable to the eye. After Wall Street had crashed, Belfort ended up in a small-time brokerage firm, but that didn’t stop him from going after his ambitions. He actually saw this as an opportunity to make a name for himself.

Be persistent

There’s a thin line that separates persistence from pushing it too far. Belfort was able to control how much he can get into the minds of his clients when he speaks on the phone. Forcing them to commit would make them feel invaded, but not trying enough would be a lost opportunity. What is your threshold for persistently going after a prospect to commit to your business?

Have passion to achieve your goal

After being indicted and serving prison, Belfort became a global international speaker. His natural motivational skills are renowned in the business world, and up to this day he still speaks in front of thousands of people about business passion.

The long-term fate of a business depends on marketers, because they bring in clients that keep the business alive. If marketers don’t have the passion to keep going at opportunities, businesses will end up short-lived and unfulfilled.